Will the BlackBerry ever get a real browser?


About 18 months have passed since Apple released the original iPhone. During that time, RIM has released several new models, including the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Storm. Despite the iPhone including a desktop-class web browser that can load virtually any page, RIM still insists on crippling every BlackBerry with a crappy browser that feels like the AOL browser from 1999. Meanwhile, new products like the Android-based G1 and the Palm Pre have been created virtually from scratch — each time featuring a real web browser like the iPhone. So why do BlackBerry users still get the shaft?

I don’t know the intricacies of BlackBerry OS programming, but I do remember reading that it’s very hard for third-party developers to write a real browser for the BlackBerry OS. Perhaps this explains why you can get limited browsers like Opera Mini, but not full browsers like Opera Mobile or the upcoming Firefox Mobile. For me, the BlackBerry’s ongoing failure at delivering a decent mobile browsing experience leaves me longing for, well, anything else as my next device.

With so many competing products that offer a full browser, and so many third-party browser options available for RIM to license at a presumably nominal cost, I don’t understand why the BlackBerry browsing experience is still stuck in the past. Maybe they’ll get it right eventually, but who knows how many customers will have jumped ship by the time that happens.